Troubleshooting Guide for CPAP Problems
CPAP therapy is an effective way to treat your sleep apnea and reduce breathing problems during sleep. Most CPAP devices, such as the ResMed AirSense 10, utilizes advanced technology to adjust the pressure settings based on your breathing patterns.
Sleep apnea may seem harmless but the risks increase with age. If it is left untreated, it could lead to even more serious health conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even depression. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, it is best to first consult with your physician.
Nevertheless, during your CPAP therapy journey, there are still problems that will still arise, making you scratch your head in confusion. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips for troubleshooting your CPAP machine.
- My mask is uncomfortable and causing skin irritations
Proper hygiene is crucial to ensure quality CPAP therapy. Get into the habit of wiping your mask after every use, especially those parts that come into contact with your skin. This will help remove any dead skin cells, oils, and dirt from your mask. However, this is not enough. Since CPAP parts come into contact with water vapor every time you use it, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. When your mask deteriorates, it creates these microscopic pockets where harmful pathogens can thrive in.
- My mask produces a whistling noise when I use it
The majority of CPAP masks have exhalation ports. These ports look like a cluster of small holes that allow carbon dioxide to escape. You need to clean your mask properly to ensure that these ports are not clogged by dirt, which then causes the whistling noise. A good tip would be to use a toothpick or sewing needle to maintain the flow of air through the holes.
- I feel tired when I wake up in the morning
CPAP mask leaks can be a huge problem for sleep apnea patients. When air leaks out of your mask, it compromises the quality of CPAP therapy. Mask leaks can lead to the loss of proper pressure necessary to keep your airways open during sleep, which can cause increased fatigue the following morning.
Read more: CPAP Mask Leaks: Causes and Solutions
- My CPAP pressure is too weak
The general rule is that your CPAP pressure should be prescribed by your doctor. It should be enough to keep your airways open and unobstructed for the entire night. Keep in mind that when your CPAP pressure is too low, you’re most likely to loudly snore or wake up gasping for air. On another note, if your CPAP pressure is too high, you’ll experience nasal congestion, interrupted sleep, and uncomfortable sleep therapy.
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The disruption of sleep usually lasts only a few seconds. However, these brief arousals interfere with sleep and prevent people with OSA from reaching the deep stages of sleep, such as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which the body needs in order to rest and replenish its strength. Once breathing is restored, people with OSA fall asleep only to repeat the cycle throughout the night.